"Ready Or Not....Here I Come" (Matthew 24 and II Peter 3)
There are 3 essentials in the Christian Life:
The Book (Romans 1:16-17)
The Blood (Hebrews 9:14, 22)
The Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13).
The staff at Menninger Clinic was asked to pinpoint the single most important ingredient in healing and the answer was:
"Hope...but as medical people we are powerless to instill this attitude, as it comes from within."
Of course, we are not ready for the Second Coming of Christ if we have not accepted by repentance and faith, His First Coming.
Jesus may come at any time, so we must be ready ALL the time.
Matthew 24:44: "You also be ready for Jesus is coming at an hour that you do not expect."
Of course, accepting Him as Saviour opens access to Heaven, but there is more to be done, for there will be a 'works judgment'.
Charles Slattery tells of a woman who told her husband one evening that the new pastor had called during the day.
"What did he say?" asked the husband.
"He asked a very strange question", she replied. "He asked, 'Does Jesus live here'?"
"Didn't you tell him that we are respectable people who read the Bible...and pray?"
She replied, "He didn't ask those questions....he only asked if Jesus lives here?"
What would YOU have said?
There are a lot of substitutes for Jesus, but no replacements!
The Bible is very simple about this in John 14:1-3, 6.
"Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father's House are many mansions....if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself....that where I am, there you may be also. For I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes unto the Father, but by me."
A.) HIS COMING IS SCRIPTURAL (Acts 1:11)
"This same Jesus which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into Heaven."
The Bible always proves itself:
1) The flood is coming....and it came!
Remember Noah's carpenters and the cost of unbelief?
2) The Exodus is coming....and it came!
They were brought out, to be brought in, but Hebrews 3:19 says, "They could not enter in because of their unbelief."
This was the ONLY thing to keep them out of The Promised Land....and will be the only thing to keep ANYONE out of Heaven. The 'will' decides it.
The song says:
"What Will You Do With Jesus?
Neutral, you can not be.
Someday your heart will be asking, 'What will He do with me'?
3) The Messiah is coming.....and He came!
But many did not receive Him, for He did not fit their pre-conceived ideas.
4) He will be crucified.....and He was.....for YOU!
Please make it personal and meaningful in your life.
5) He will rise on the 3rd day....and He did!
By His Resurrection, He underlined all the prophesies and promises, past, present and future....as true!
6) He will come again....and He will.
There are 7,959 verses in the New Testament and 318 of those verses refer to the future coming of our Lord.
Mark it down....Jesus keeps His word!!
B.) HIS COMING WILL BE SUPERNATURAL
Matthew 24:27 says: "It will be like lightning"
His descent was supernatural (II Cor. 8:9)
His ascent was supernatural (Acts 1:11).
His coming will be sudden and surprising (I Cor. 15:52)
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for it shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed."
Matthew 24: 36 says: "Of that day and hour, knows no one....not the angels of Heaven, but my Father only".....
and verses 36 and 44 speak of His coming as being 'unsuspected' as a thief in the night.
You prepare for a thief, so prepare for the coming of your best friend, Jesus!
C.) THE SIGNS OF HIS COMING (Matt. 24: 1-14)
1) Extreme sinful times.....as in the days of Noah (Matt: 24: 37-41)
Today, there are more things to keep us FROM God and therefore, there is more sin.
2) Scoffers, false prophets, false religions and cults (Verses 5 and 11)
3) Catastrophes (verse 7) This past year has been full of these.
4) This Gospel is to be shared with all nations and then the end comes (verse 14)
It seems that this is being fulfilled in our time, yet there is still much to be done.
D.) YOU CAN BE READY FOR HIS COMING (II Peter 3: 9-13)
1) Stay close to the Lord (verse 9)
Repentance and faith are the only ways to be saved...and to live!
2) Be a person of fear...and faith! (verse 10)
By faith we get ready for life AND for the end times.
3) Be Holy as God is Holy (Verse 11)
This is harder now, but all things are possible. (Mark 9:23)
4) Live enthusiastically and expectantly! (verses 12-13)
E.) YOU CAN HELP OTHERS GET READY (II Peter 3: 14-18)
1) Be a peace maker and an encourager (Verse 14)
2) Lift up the Cross in your life (verse 15)
3) Be a daily witness for your Lord (verse 16)
4) Be steadfast (consistent) (verse 17)
5) Keep on growing in the knowledge of....and likeness to....Christ (verse 18)
6) Wait on the Lord has 2 meanings:
Wait and prepare as you would for the President..
wait on the Lord as a good servant waits on his Master.
There was a King who gave a staff to his favorite court clown and said,
"Take this and keep it..... until you find a bigger fool than yourself."
Years later as the clown stood by the King's deathbed, the King said,
"I am about to leave on a long journey from which I will not return."
The clown said, "Your Majesty, may I ask you a question? Always,
when you go on a journey, preparations are made. May I ask what
preparations you have made for this long journey?"
The King replied, "Alas, I have made no preparation for this journey."
"Then take this staff with you', said the clown, 'for I have found a bigger fool than myself."
If you are sure about your salvation, would you please live your life as if:
Christ died this morning...rose this noon...and is coming back again this afternoon!
There is a thoughtful song entitled, "What If It Were Today?"
Would you be ready?....and what about your relatives, neighbors and friends?
The prophet Amos said, "Prepare NOW to meet thy God."
Remember, we are on the 'Preparation Committee' for His Coming....
not the "Time and Place Committee'.
We prepare for a lot of things in life....let us not forget to prepare for The Best!